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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Presidents' Day

The Big Idea for Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidents' Day was inspired by the birthday of George Washington, an American hero who led his country to independence and kept it away from unnecessary bloodshed during the wars that waged in Europe.

Today's leaders, both in the U.S. and abroad, have more global interests. With one eye on the home front and another cast on foreign interests, they employ increasingly destructive weapons to bulwark their country against threats and attacks. As nuclear weapons become more sophisticated and dangerous, how can we be sure that the man or woman running with the nuclear football is mentally capable enough to not fumble the ball? With the advent of the Internet, stakeholders and citizens can scrutinize their leaders and judge everything from policy to fashion. So what does an autocrat's policies say about him and his ability to launch a nuclear attack?


  1. 1 Nuclear War Game Theory: Who Passes the Presidential Sanity Test?
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Armageddon in the Hands of Ahmadinejad
    An Phung Think Tank
  3. 3 The Real Human Costs of Iran's Nuclear Development
    An Phung Think Tank
  4. 4 Why All Presidents Dress Like Flight Attendants
    Jason Gots Think Tank

Presidents' Day

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